Jordan Racine
Director of Programming
Paycom Center

The road in the venues biz has taken Jordan Racine from high school audio-visual tech to director of programming at the 18,000-capacity Paycom Center in Oklahoma City.

Along the way, he established a small, annual music festival and booked bands from around New England as a college sophomore. He interned as a production assistant for James Taylor’s “Before This World” tour and eventually landed a job with the touring crew.

“That is where I had my first taste of arena-level shows and amphitheater shows and I thought the experience of loading in a show, doing a concert, loading out and rolling on to the next city was the best thing there was,” Racine said. “I couldn’t believe that people did this for a living.”

Following graduation, Racine took a job as booking assistant at Venue Coalition, where he climbed the ranks for six years before accepting the director of programming post in Oklahoma City in April 2022. Venue Coalition was where Racine learned the dynamics of the arena business from industry veterans Jeff Apregan and Andrew Prince.

“I saw the opportunity to be part of something bigger than myself,” he said. “It was an opportunity to go work with an incredible team in a market that is one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. I never doubted for a second that this was the next right move for my career.”

Racine, who counts Chris Semrau general manager at Paycom as a mentor, is ready to make a difference through his role as co-chair of the IEBA Young Professionals Steering Committee.

“I think investing in the younger, promising members of your team and creating avenues by which young people can enter the industry and explore the opportunities is some of the most important work we can do as established young professionals,” he said.

Racine offered this advice: read industry trades to become familiar with the key players and current topics; take time to learn the history of this business and specifically, the history of the company you work for (or want to work for); and always follow through on what you say you are going to do.